ANZ Samoa ends year with Half Marathon

ANZ Samoa has hosted a Half Marathon to conclude the community activities it has hosted throughout this year with the event run in the early hours of Saturday morning at the Apia Waterfront.

The bank has been working with Samoa Events to host the Fun Run series every Wednesday evening for several years and more recently the walk/run hosted at the Taumeasina Island Resort starting at 6pm.

ANZ Bank Samoa Regional Country Head, Bernie Poort, said in an email response to the Samoa Observer that maintaining a healthy lifestyle has never been more important with the entire planet gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Whilst a healthy diet is undoubtedly the most important criteria to healthy living, regular exercise is also very important," Mr. Poort, who also runs, said. "The ANZ Fun Run series is about providing a very safe environment for our staff, our customers and the entire Samoan community through a weekly exercise option."

Following the success of the ANZ Perimeter Relay back in September this year, Mr. Poort decided that a Half Marathon (21.1km) would be another great challenge for willing participants just before Christmas around the Apia waterfront. 

According to the bank Chief Executive, the men's race was set up as a showdown between two very talented athletes, local international ironman, Darren Young and the Aussie speedstar, Mathew Howden. 

"With the backdrop of the business district lit up with Christmas lights, the race got underway at 5.00am. It was all over 1km in, with 'the ironman' setting a scorching sub 4.00 minute running pace from the gun,” he added.

“Mat did well to compose himself and chased Darren home the whole way. Darren Young taking out yet another title as the ANZ 2020 Half Marathon Champion in a blistering time of 1 hour 33 minutes and 40 seconds.”

"The women’s event suffered from a few notable local stars suffering injuries before this morning’s race. 

“Dr Holly McBride was too strong for the rest of the field and despite a tumble on the last loop finished with a strong sub 2 hours time at 1hour 58 minutes and 50 seconds to become the Women's ANZ 2020 Half Ironman Champion."

The event attracted 40 runners attempting a variety of distances up to the half marathon and were members of the Guoloma Sports Club, MaiGym, specialist hospital staff and ANZ Bank staff.

"2021 is just around the corner and there will be an exciting calendar of events posted soon. Merry Christmas," Mr Poort added.

The results of the event are below:

21.1 km Half Marathon

First Male:        Darren Young    1:33:40

First Female:        Holly McBride    1:58:50

14km Race

First Male:        Bernie Poort        1:28:11

First Female:        Laura Howden    1:21:35

7km Race

First Male        Gideon Mulitalo    0:38:39

First Female        Susan Turnbull    0:44:15

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